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News
8 April 2020

Statement of Regulatory Intent - Easter and Anzac Day April 2020

Liquor & Gaming NSW Liquor Act 2007 – NSW Fair Trading Retail Trading Act 2008 - Regulatory approach to home delivery and take-away alcohol sales on public holidays in April 2020 in the context of COVID-19

This statement sets out the enforcement approach that Liquor & Gaming NSW and NSW Fair Trading will take to compliance with liquor and retail trade restrictions on upcoming public holidays in April 2020 and should be read in conjunction with the existing Statement of Regulatory Intent issued by Liquor & Gaming NSW on 23 March 2020 (SRI).

Liquor & Gaming NSW and NSW Fair Trading recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an exceptional set of circumstances that is having significant impacts on the businesses we regulate. Both regulators appreciate that exceptional circumstances require flexibility on the part of the regulators in circumstances where licensed venues have been forced to only sell food or beverages for persons to consume off premises.

Trading arrangements on Good Friday

Under the Liquor Act 2007 and the Retail Trading Act 2008, most licensed premises are normally either restricted from trading, or not authorised to sell takeaway alcohol, on Good Friday. In the current circumstances, Liquor & Gaming NSW and NSW Fair Trading will take a common-sense and pragmatic approach to enforcing liquor and retail trading laws.

Clubs, hotels, restaurants, cafes and small bars that would not normally:

  • be permitted to trade on Good Friday under the Liquor Act 2007 or the Retail Trading Act 2008; or
  • have authorisation to sell alcohol for consumption off-premises on Good Friday;

may provide take-away or home delivery services on Good Friday in conjunction with the SRI dated 23 March 2020.

Certain trading restrictions that would normally apply to Good Friday trade will apply to club, hotel, restaurant, cafe and small bar licensees who choose to trade on Good Friday 2020, including:

  • the sale of alcohol on Good Friday must be ancillary to a meal – as such takeaway and home delivery alcohol sales must be accompanied by the sale of a meal;
  • Good Friday restricted trading hours apply – takeaway and home delivery sales may only be conducted from midday to 10pm; and
  • Clubs, restaurants, cafes and takeaway food and drink shops may only be staffed by persons who have freely elected to work on that day.

The exemption to allow licensed premises to trade on Good Friday does not extend to packaged liquor licences.

Producer/wholesaler licensees that are usually permitted to sell take-away alcohol on Good Friday, can continue to do so on Good Friday in 2020.

Compliance and enforcement activity will monitor licensees’ compliance with the restrictions on Good Friday trade.

Trading arrangements on Easter Sunday and ANZAC Day

Under the Retail Trading Act 2008, some businesses are normally restricted from trading on Easter Sunday and restricted from trading before 1pm on ANZAC Day. NSW Fair Trading will take a common-sense and pragmatic approach to enforcing retail trading restrictions on these days.

The following businesses will now be allowed to trade on Easter Sunday and ANZAC Day in 2020:

  • small bars and hotels that choose to provide takeaway and home delivery alcohol sales; and
  • clubs that choose to provide takeaway and home delivery alcohol sales, provided that these businesses are staffed only by persons who have freely elected to work on that day.

Restaurants, cafes and takeaway food and drink shops are already permitted to open on Easter Sunday and ANZAC Day provided that they are staffed only by persons who have freely elected to work on that day.

The Liquor Act 2007 does not restrict trade on Easter Sunday and ANZAC Day. Therefore, normal Easter Sunday and ANZAC Day trading hours will continue to apply on those days for licensees that choose to trade. The existing SRI dated 23 March 2020 also continues to apply on these days.

The exemption to allow licensed premises to trade on Easter Sunday and before 1pm on ANZAC Day does not extend to packaged liquor licences.

Producer/wholesaler licensees that are usually permitted to sell take-away alcohol on Easter Sunday or ANZAC Day, can continue to do so on Easter Sunday and ANZAC Day in 2020.

Police, procedures and controls around take-away sales and home deliveries

It is important to note that compliance and enforcement activity will continue. However, the primary focus of compliance and enforcement activity remains on matters that pose significant risk to public safety and community wellbeing, and in particular the sale or supply of alcohol to intoxicated persons or minors. These offences are considered to be some of the most serious under the Liquor Act 2007 and attract significant penalties, up to and including a term of imprisonment.

All licenced premises making take-away sales or undertaking home deliveries should have a system of controls in place to ensure that liquor is not sold to minors or to intoxicated persons. The Liquor & Gaming NSW website www.liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au contains more information on appropriate evidence of age, and prevention of intoxication, which may assist in preparing policies and procedures and clarifying legislative obligations.

More information

Liquor & Gaming NSW will continue to monitor the situation and engage with industry and industry representatives as appropriate.

For more information please refer to the Liquor & Gaming website or the Department of Customer Service website at www.customerservice.nsw.gov.au.

Rose Webb
Deputy Secretary
Better Regulation Division

7 April 2020

Read the Statement of Regulatory Intent
Read frequently asked questions for the liquor and gaming industries